Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri) has long been used as a medicine in Ayurveda, for combating stress and improving memory. Brahmi has a complex mixture of phytochemicals (naturally occurring chemicals in plants) that are beneficial for the brain. Researchers are now evaluating the benefits of this herb to combat neurological disorders such as Alzheimer and other dementia. Let’s look at the key benefits of this ancient herb for Alzheimer’s.
Brahmi is said to enhance the cognitive performance and learning abilities. In a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, healthy elderly participants who were given 300 mg of Brahmi for 12 weeks showed improvements in their cognitive performance. Participants of the study also showed improved word recall and reduced anxiety. Brahmi can also help in managing the cognitive decline that comes with age, and help regenerate neural tissues. It also has anti-stress properties, which can have a positive effect on the brain.
Ayurveda has long used Brahmi as a memory booster. In a study undertaken on adults between the ages of 40 and 65, who were regularly taking Brahmi, it was concluded that Brahmi improved the rate of retaining newly-acquired information.
Brahmi is said to have neuroprotective effects on the brain. The chemicals in Brahmi work to protect the neural system from damage and improve the overall performance of the neurons. Brahmi is also said to protect the neural system against neurotoxins like aluminum, morphine and cigarette smoke.
Although the exact causes of Alzheimer’s disease are not fully understood, people with Alzheimer’s are found to have abnormal amount of amyloid plaques (protein fragments) and fibers in the brain. These reduce the effectiveness of healthy neurons. Brahmi has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is said to remove heavy metals and amyloid from the brain. This is one of the reasons why it is being tested to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Studies carried out on Brahmi’s effect on neurons indicate that it suppresses neuronal oxidative stress and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.